Mumbai Indians has been one of the most successful sides of the IPL as they have lifted the hallowed IPL trophy for a staggering 5 times and Rohit Sharma led them to the trophy as if it was a cakewalk for him. However, the scenes behind weren’t obviously that rosy and it needed a lot of tinkering to get the magic going for the Men in Blue.
From the hallowed days of Sanath Jayasuriya and company to transforming it to a side that would star a bunch of uproarious Indian players mixed perfectly with the foreigners’ lot to produce magnificent results, Mumbai Indians came a long way. And despite a sloppy 2022, they have already added subtle reinforcements to bolster their ranks and come back stronger, particularly in the absence of Kieron Pollard.
Shedding light on how the entire ball game changed and how the captaincy eventually reached the hands of Rohit Sharma, Anil Kumble revealed what were the factors that first came under the radar and how that entire scene unfurled.
Here is what Anil Kumble had o say about the initial scenes of the captaincy changing hands
Speaking on Jio Cinema, Anil Kumble said, “Mumbai Indians didn’t start well in 2013, it was very similar to how RCB started in 2009, where I think we had won only one out of the first five games. Ricky Ponting was the captain and we had to change the captaincy because only four overseas players can play. We needed to replace Ricky and then get Rohit Sharma in. I think John Wright needs to get a lot of credit for the way he managed as coach. Yes, my job was to put together a really strong support team and build an ecosystem and a foundation for the franchise when we picked Ricky Ponting at the auction.”
He further added, “The whole intention of choosing him, although he was towards the end of his career, was to bring in someone who had been there, done that. He had won World Cups as captain in a champion team. So we wanted that kind of a approach.”
Here is how the final decision about Rohit Sharma being the Mumbai Indians captain was taken
Kumble continued, “Unfortunately his batting form didn’t support and the team lost four out of the five or six games. We had to make the decision to bring in an overseas player in the playing XI and then choosing another captain. At that point of time, John Wright, I and the owners had the conversation. I still distinctly remember walking into Rohit Sharma’s room with John Wright. He said, “Rohit are you keen to take up the captaincy?” There was no hesitancy, he said, “Yes, I am ready.” I think you want to see that kind of confidence, you want to see that kind of self-belief in the player saying that I am ready to take over. Although we had some massive names in the team. Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Harbbhajan Singh, Pollard, Malinga. We had some really senior players in the group and Rohit said I am ready. The way he led the team, he was calm, composed and very assured of what he wanted on the ground and he took all the right calls.” Kumble concluded by saying, “Fortunately like I mentioned, when you have to win, you need everything to align. Things aligned and Mumbai Indians won the championship. Since then he hasn’t looked back.”